"Democrat party"

LanDi Liu strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 2 02:21:09 UTC 2008

On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 12:52 AM, Herb Stahlke <hfwstahlke at gmail.com> wrote:
> There's a considerable difference between "Democrat Party" and
> "Republic Party."  "Democrat" has a final stressed syllable and
> "Republic" doesn't.  The syllable "crat" conforms to the phonotactics
> of English taboo vocabulary: short vowel and final voiceless consonant
> usually a stop, which turns "Democrat" into an epithet in a way that
> can't be done with "Republic."  Among Republican political consultants
> it's been a routine form of name-calling for decades.

The syllable "lic" conforms to that according to your description,
too.  You could give "lic" secondary stress if you wanted to.  Maybe
what's really going on is that you can substitute "crat" with "crap",
but "lic" doesn't get you anything beyond "lick", which is no match
for "crap".

Randy Alexander
Jilin City, China
My Manchu studies blog:

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list